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Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Story #5: Resi, aged 57, from Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Pilgrim Resi on the CaminoHow many times have you walked a Camino? And which ones?

Camino Frances, once in the Spring of 2013.

What caused you to decide to walk the Camino?

I already knew I would do it once.  I regularly met with a group of people at a philosophy cafe.  During the summer we went on meeting each other and called ourselves philosophy privé.  In that group we talked about our desire to walk the Camino once.  One friend in this group did it already five years before me. I decided to go because I was longing for a purpose in my life. Something that would move me. Then I thought, why not take this wish literally?  My purpose would be walking to Santiago the Compostela.

What were some of the highlights of your Camino?

The people I met on the way.  Also in combination with the moment(s) I met them.  Also, Nicolás de Puente Fitero which was my first stop after Hontanas with a small gothic chapel (San Nicolás) and an Italian hospitalero, Auguste.  I was there very early and felt I wanted to stay there.  The church had no electricity and bunkbeds of course ;). When two Italian pilgrims, Stefano and Ila, arrived, we were invited in and Auguste closed the door and we had lunch and wine together.  But I think that especially my inside feeling that day made everything perfect.

And David of El Paradiso who lives on the Camino and has set up a brightly-colored cart in a remote part of the trail and provides free food and drink to pilgrims passing by!  On his trolley it says “Everything is possible” which struck me, because I had written the same text on a collage I made for the Camino before I left.

What were some of your biggest challenges on the Camino?

Pilgrim dinner on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrim dinner on the Camino de Santiago

My feet! They were hurting terribly. If a physiotherapist had not helped me with my feet, I don’t know if I would have managed it.  There was also a point where I was confronted with what happens to me when I don’t choose with my heart.

How did the Camino change you?

I always find that a difficult question.  Of course I would like to say that it made a major change in my life.  But I don’t think it did.  I learned that if you want something done, you just have to start and do it.  And of course it did something with me and I would never have missed this experience.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before the Camino? Advice?

No, I can’t think of anything.  Although I was very glad with the advice to make a reservation at L’Esprit du Chemin for the first night in St. Jean Pied de Port and even more at the second stop at Orisson.  Because otherwise you have to walk 25 km the first day.  I stayed at the Kayola-hut, which is a remote building belonging to Refuge Orisson (and a little before Orisson) and that was even better than sleeping in the main building.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would advise everybody who is able to do something like this, to do it once in your life even if you’re not a real hiker. It is a wonderful experience.

Sounds like good advice to me! Thank you Resi for your story! If you would like to share your Camino story, please do so here.

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